Devotional article for The Greybull Standard
and The Republican Rustler
Repent for Lent
Lent is the forty days before Easter. It used to be a time for fasting – reflecting the forty days our Lord Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, suffering want and hunger, and being tempted by the evil one not to.
Hardly anybody does the fasting bit any more – not in any real sense, anyway; not in a sense of inflicting any real discomfort upon oneself in terms of going without. But that is really not the point, either.
During the Season of Lent we follow our Lord Jesus on His path to suffering and death. We see His entire life under the perspective of going without, that He left His heavenly home, and the blessed presence of His heavenly Father, in order to suffer for us and with us a lifetime in this world of suffering and sorrow.
During a lifetime of suffering and sorrow He would live the life all Mankind owes it to God to live, in full and complete love for God, full and complete trust, and full and complete obedience and submission to His will. And this He would do for all Mankind, in our stead and on our behalf, as Head of Mankind, in order that His obedience might count for all of us as ours before God.
And this life of suffering and sorrow, away from His heavenly glory, and from the blessed presence of the heavenly Father, would culminate in His death. He whose home is in heavenly glory would be robbed, even, of any and all human dignity. And the Father's Beloved would be crucified, and cursed and condemned by Him.
Now, this is sufferings we cannot even begin to imagine, the righteous wrath of God against all ungodliness, His holy hatred against evil. And this also the Son of God would take upon Himself for us to pay the price and penalty for our evil and ungodliness, so that we might stand righteous and right before God, without guilt and debt, no longer deserving of eternal death and damnation, but rather as His beloved children, worthy of His eternal life.
And this is what He promises, and with His promise He gives it to us, fully and for real: that our sin is atoned for and our debt has been paid, and we are righteous and right before His judgement, and we shall not perish and die forever in Hell, rather, we shall live and be with Him in His Kingdom and His eternal life. All this He gives to us out of His goodness alone, and for no other reason whatsoever.
Normally His Church and His Christians will celebrate this joyfully. In fact, we always do, also during Lent. How could we not? But during Lent we take time to meditate on His love in terms of His sufferings and our sin, that He would take it upon Himself to suffer for us, and that this His love for us is love for His enemies; that we brought this upon Him with our ingratitude and ungodliness and evil.
It is upon this love we meditate during Lent. It is this love we see in His sufferings. And as we see this, we must realise that we cannot be without His love, and that our life with Him can never be shallowness, either; our life must always be a serious celebration of our salvation. For our salvation is precious indeed; it came at a price.
Pastor Jais H. Tinglund
Grace Lutheran Church, Greybull/Zion Lutheran Church, Emblem